In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic
schools of philosophy, the demiurge (/ˈdɛmiˌɜːrdʒ/) is an
artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the
physical universe. The term was adopted by the Gnostics. Although a
fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator
figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the
material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both
considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the
system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal, or
considered to be the product of some other entity.
The word "demiurge" is an English word from demiurgus, a Latinized
form of the Greek δημιουργός or dēmiourgos. It was
originally a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but
gradually it came to mean "producer", and then eventually "creator".
The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's
Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, in which the demiurge is presented as
the creator of the universe. This is also the definition of the
demiurge in the Platonic (c. 310–90 BC) and Middle Platonic
(c. 90 BC – AD 300) philosophical traditions. In the various
branches of the Neoplatonic school (third century onwards), the
demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the
model of the Ideas, but (in most Neoplatonic systems) is still not
itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic
systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world
is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is
malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others,
including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is simply ignorant
Platonism and neoplatonism
1.1 Middle Platonism
2.6 The devil
Neoplatonism and Gnosticism
4 See also
5 In popular culture
7 External links
Platonism and neoplatonism
Plato, as the speaker Timaeus, refers to the
Demiurge frequently in
Socratic dialogue Timaeus, c. 360 BC. The main character
refers to the
Demiurge as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the
material world. Timaeus describes the
Demiurge as unreservedly
benevolent, and so it desires a world as good as possible. The world
remains imperfect, however, because the
Demiurge created the world out
of a chaotic, indeterminate non-being. Plato's work Timaeus is a
philosophical reconciliation of Hesiod's cosmology in his Theogony,
Hesiod to Homer.
In Numenius's Neo-Pythagorean and Middle Platonist cosmogony, the
Demiurge is second
God as the nous or thought of intelligibles and
Plotinus and the later Platonists worked to clarify the Demiurge. To
Plotinus, the second emanation represents an uncreated second cause
(see Pythagoras' Dyad).
Plotinus sought to reconcile Aristotle's
energeia with Plato's Demiurge, which, as
Demiurge and mind (nous),
is a critical component in the ontological construct of human
consciousness used to explain and clarify substance theory within
Platonic realism (also called idealism). In order to reconcile
Aristotelian with Platonian philosophy,
identified the demiurge (or nous) within the pantheon of the Greek
Gods as Zeus.
The first and highest aspect of
God is described by
Plato as the One
(Τὸ Ἕν, "To Hen"), the source, or the Monad.
This is the
God above the Demiurge, and manifests through the actions
of the Demiurge. The Monad emanated the demiurge or Nous
(consciousness) from its "indeterminate" vitality due to the monad
being so abundant that it overflowed back onto itself, causing
self-reflection. This self-reflection of the indeterminate vitality
was referred to by
Plotinus as the "Demiurge" or creator. The second
principle is organization in its reflection of the nonsentient force
or dynamis, also called the one or the Monad. The dyad is energeia
emanated by the one that is then the work, process or activity called
nous, Demiurge, mind, consciousness that organizes the indeterminate
vitality into the experience called the material world, universe,
Plotinus also elucidates the equation of matter with nothing
or non-being in his Enneads which more correctly is to express the
concept of idealism or that there is not anything or anywhere outside
of the "mind" or nous (c.f. pantheism).
Plotinus' form of
Platonic idealism is to treat the Demiurge, nous as
the contemplative faculty (ergon) within man which orders the force
(dynamis) into conscious reality. In this, he claimed to reveal
Plato's true meaning: a doctrine he learned from Platonic tradition
that did not appear outside the academy or in Plato's text. This
tradition of creator
God as nous (the manifestation of consciousness),
can be validated in the works of pre-
Plotinus philosophers such as
Numenius, as well as a connection between Hebrew and Platonic
cosmology (see also Philo).
Neoplatonism is the
Nous (mind of God), and is one of
the three ordering principles:
Arche (Gr. "beginning") – the source of all things,
Logos (Gr. "reason/cause") – the underlying order that is hidden
Harmonia (Gr. "harmony") – numerical ratios in mathematics.
Numenius of Apamea and Plotinus' Enneads, no Platonic works
ontologically clarified the
Demiurge from the allegory in Plato's
Timaeus. The idea of
Demiurge was, however, addressed before Plotinus
in the works of Christian writer
Justin Martyr who built his
understanding of the
Demiurge on the works of Numenius.[citation
See also: Panentheism
Later, the Neoplatonist Iamblichus changed the role of the "One",
effectively altering the role of the
Demiurge as second cause or dyad,
which was one of the reasons that Iamblichus and his teacher Porphyry
came into conflict.
The figure of the
Demiurge emerges in the theoretic of Iamblichus,
which conjoins the transcendent, incommunicable “One,” or Source.
Here, at the summit of this system, the Source and
realm) coexist via the process of henosis. Iamblichus describes
the One as a monad whose first principle or emanation is intellect
(nous), while among "the many" that follow it there's a second,
super-existent "One" that is the producer of intellect or soul
The "One" is further separated into spheres of intelligence; the first
and superior sphere is objects of thought, while the latter sphere is
the domain of thought. Thus, a triad is formed of the intelligible
nous, the intellective nous, and the psyche in order to reconcile
further the various Hellenistic philosophical schools of Aristotle's
actus and potentia of the unmoved mover and Plato's Demiurge.
Then within this intellectual triad Iamblichus assigns the third rank
to the Demiurge, identifying it with the perfect or Divine nous with
the intellectual triad being promoted to a hebdomad (pure intellect).
In the theoretic of Plotinus, nous produces nature through
intellectual mediation, thus the intellectualizing gods are followed
with a triad of psychic gods.
Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God
and the demiurgic "creator" of the material. Several systems of
Gnostic thought present the
Demiurge as antagonistic to the will of
the Supreme Being: his act of creation occurs in unconscious semblance
of the divine model, and thus is fundamentally flawed, or else is
formed with the malevolent intention of entrapping aspects of the
divine in materiality. Thus, in such systems, the
Demiurge acts as a
solution to (or, at least possibly, the problem or cause that gives
rise to) the problem of evil.
One Gnostic mythos describes the declination of aspects of the divine
into human form. Sophia (Greek: Σοφία, lit. "wisdom"), the
Demiurge's mother a partial aspect of the divine
"Fullness," desired to create something apart from the divine
totality, without the receipt of divine assent. In this act of
separate creation, she gave birth to the monstrous
Demiurge and, being
ashamed of her deed, wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for
him to be within it. The Demiurge, isolated, did not behold his
mother, nor anyone else, and concluded that only he existed, ignorant
of the superior levels of reality.
The Demiurge, having received a portion of power from his mother, sets
about a work of creation in unconscious imitation of the superior
Pleromatic realm: He frames the seven heavens, as well as all material
and animal things, according to forms furnished by his mother; working
however blindly, and ignorant even of the existence of the mother who
is the source of all his energy. He is blind to all that is spiritual,
but he is king over the other two provinces. The word dēmiourgos
properly describes his relation to the material; he is the father of
that which is animal like himself.
Thus Sophia's power becomes enclosed within the material forms of
humanity, themselves entrapped within the material universe: the goal
of Gnostic movements was typically the awakening of this spark, which
permitted a return by the subject to the superior, non-material
realities which were its primal source.
Psalm 82 begins (verse 1), "
God stands in the assembly of El (the
Septuagint here says the assembly of gods), in the midst of the gods
he renders judgment", indicating a plurality of gods, although it does
not indicate that these gods were co-actors in creation.
inferred from the expression, "Let us make man," of Genesis that God
had used other beings as assistants in the creation of man, and he
explains in this way why man is capable of vice as well as virtue,
ascribing the origin of the latter to God, of the former to His
helpers in the work of creation.
The earliest Gnostic sects ascribe the work of creation to angels,
some of them using the same passage in Genesis. So Irenaeus
tells of the system of Simon Magus, of the system of
Menander, of the system of Saturninus, in which the number of
these angels is reckoned as seven, and of the system of
Carpocrates. In the report of the system of Basilides, we are told
that our world was made by the angels who occupy the lowest heaven;
but special mention is made of their chief, who is said to have been
God of the Jews, to have led that people out of the land of Egypt,
and to have given them their law. The prophecies are ascribed not to
the chief but to the other world-making angels.
The Latin translation, confirmed by Hippolytus, makes Irenaeus
state that according to
Cerinthus (who shows
creation was made by a power quite separate from the Supreme
ignorant of Him. Theodoret, who here copies Irenaeus, turns this
into the plural number "powers," and so Epiphanius represents
Cerinthus as agreeing with
Carpocrates in the doctrine that the world
was made by angels.
A lion-faced deity found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon's
L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures may be a depiction
of the Demiurge.
In the Ophite and Sethian systems, which have many affinities with
that last mentioned [clarification needed], the making of the world is
ascribed to a company of seven archons, whose names are given, but
their chief, "Yaldabaoth" (also known as "Yaltabaoth" or "Ialdabaoth")
comes into still greater prominence.
Apocryphon of John
Apocryphon of John c. 120–180 AD, the Demiurge
arrogantly declares that he has made the world by himself:
Now the archon (ruler) who is weak has three names. The first name is
Yaltabaoth, the second is
Saklas ("fool"), and the third is Samael.
And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, "I am
God and there is no other
God beside me," for he is ignorant of his
strength, the place from which he had come.
Demiurge and maker of man, but as a ray of light from above
enters the body of man and gives him a soul, Yaldabaoth is filled with
envy; he tries to limit man's knowledge by forbidding him the fruit of
knowledge in paradise. At the consummation of all things all light
will return to the Pleroma. But Yaldabaoth, the Demiurge, with the
material world, will be cast into the lower depths.
Yaldabaoth is frequently called "the Lion-faced", leontoeides, with
the body of a serpent. We are told also that the
Demiurge is of a
fiery nature, the words of Moses being applied to him, "the Lord our
God is a burning and consuming fire," a text which Hippolytus claims
was also used by Simon.
Pistis Sophia Yaldabaoth has already sunk from his high estate and
resides in Chaos, where, with his forty-nine demons, he tortures
wicked souls in boiling rivers of pitch, and with other punishments
(pp. 257, 382). He is an archon with the face of a lion, half
flame and half darkness.
Under the name of Nebro (rebel), Yaldabaoth is called an angel in the
apocryphal Gospel of Judas. He is first mentioned in "The Cosmos,
Chaos, and the Underworld" as one of the twelve angels to come "into
being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld]". He comes from
heaven, his "face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled
with blood". Nebro creates six angels in addition to the angel Saklas
to be his assistants. These six in turn create another twelve angels
"with each one receiving a portion in the heavens."
Drawing of the leontocephaline found at the
Mithraeum of C. Valerius
Heracles and sons, dedicated 190 AD at Ostia Antica, Italy (CIMRM
The most probable derivation of the name "Yaldabaoth" was that given
by Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler, "Son of Chaos," from Aramaic yalda
bahut, ילדא בהות. However,
Gilles Quispel notes:
Gershom Scholem, the third genius in this field, more specifically the
genius of precision, has taught us that some of us were wrong when
they believed that Jaldabaoth means "son of chaos", because the
Aramaic word bahutha in the sense of chaos only existed in the
imagination of the author of a well-known dictionary. This is a pity
because this name would suit the demiurge risen from chaos to a
nicety. And perhaps the author of the Untitled Document did not know
Aramaic and also supposed as we did once, that baoth had something to
do with tohuwabohu, one of the few Hebrew words that everybody knows.
... It would seem then that the Orphic view of the demiurge was
integrated into Jewish
Gnosticism even before the redaction of the
myth contained in the original Apocryphon of John. ... Phanes is
represented with the mask of a lion's head on his breast, while from
his sides the heads of a ram and a buck are budding forth: his body is
encircled by a snake. This type was accepted by the
to indicate Aion, the new year, and Mithras, whose numerical value is
365. Sometimes he is also identified with Jao Adonai, the creator of
the Hebrews. His hieratic attitude indicates Egyptian origin. The same
is true of the monstrous figure with the head of a lion, which
symbolises Time, Chronos, in Mithraism; Alexandrian origin of this
type is probable.
"Samael" literally means "Blind God" or "
God of the Blind" in Aramaic
(Syriac sæmʻa-ʼel). This being is considered not only blind, or
ignorant of its own origins, but may in addition be evil; its name is
also found in Judaica as the Angel of Death and in Christian
demonology. This leads to a further comparison with Satan. Another
alternative title for the Demiurge, "Saklas," is Aramaic for "fool"
(Syriac sækla "the foolish one").
The angelic name "Ariel" (meaning "the lion of God" in Hebrew) has
also been used to refer to the Demiurge, and is called his "perfect"
name; in some Gnostic lore, Ariel has been called an ancient or
original name for Ialdabaoth. The name has also been inscribed on
amulets as "Ariel Ialdabaoth", and the figure of the archon
inscribed with "Aariel".
According to Marcion, the title
God was given to the Demiurge, who was
to be sharply distinguished from the higher Good God. The former was
díkaios, severely just, the latter agathós, or loving-kind; the
former was the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), the
God of the
Old Testament, the latter the true
God of the New Testament. Christ,
though in reality the Son of the Good God, pretended to be the Messiah
of the Demiurge, the better to spread the truth concerning His
heavenly Father. The true believer in Christ entered into God's
kingdom, the unbeliever remained forever the slave of the
It is in the system of Valentinus that the name Dēmiourgos is used,
which occurs nowhere in
Irenaeus except in connection with the
Valentinian system; we may reasonably conclude that it was Valentinus
who adopted from
Platonism the use of this word. When it is employed
by other Gnostics either it is not used in a technical sense, or its
use has been borrowed from Valentinus. But it is only the name that
can be said to be specially Valentinian; the personage intended by it
corresponds more or less closely with the Yaldabaoth of the Ophites,
Archon of Basilides, the Elohim of Justinus, etc.
The Valentinian theory elaborates that from Achamoth (he kátō
sophía or lower wisdom) three kinds of substance take their origin,
the spiritual (pneumatikoí), the animal (psychikoí) and the material
Demiurge belongs to the second kind, as he was the
offspring of a union of Achamoth with matter. And as Achamoth
herself was only the daughter of Sophía the last of the thirty Aeons,
Demiurge was distant by many emanations from the Propatôr, or
In creating this world out of Chaos the
Demiurge was unconsciously
influenced for good; and the universe, to the surprise even of its
Maker, became almost perfect. The
Demiurge regretted even its slight
imperfection, and as he thought himself the Supreme God, he attempted
to remedy this by sending a Messiah. To this Messiah, however, was
actually united Jesus the Saviour, Who redeemed men. These are either
hylikoí, or pneumatikoí.
The first, or material men, will return to the grossness of matter and
finally be consumed by fire; the second, or animal men, together with
the Demiurge, will enter a middle state, neither
Pleroma nor hyle; the
purely spiritual men will be completely freed from the influence of
Demiurge and together with the Saviour and Achamoth, his spouse,
will enter the
Pleroma divested of body (hyle) and soul
(psyché). In this most common form of
Gnosticism the Demiurge
had an inferior though not intrinsically evil function in the universe
as the head of the animal, or psychic world.
Opinions on the devil, and his relationship to the Demiurge, varied.
Ophites held that he and his demons constantly oppose and thwart
the human race, as it was on their account the devil was cast down
into this world. According to one variant of the Valentinian
Demiurge is also the maker, out of the appropriate
substance, of an order of spiritual beings, the devil, the prince of
this world, and his angels. But the devil, as being a spirit of
wickedness, is able to recognise the higher spiritual world, of which
his maker the Demiurge, who is only animal, has no real knowledge. The
devil resides in this lower world, of which he is the prince, the
Demiurge in the heavens; his mother Sophia in the middle region, above
the heavens and below the Pleroma.
The Valentinian Heracleon interpreted the devil as the principle
of evil, that of hyle (matter). As he writes in his commentary on John
The mountain represents the Devil, or his world, since the Devil was
one part of the whole of matter, but the world is the total mountain
of evil, a deserted dwelling place of beasts, to which all who lived
before the law and all Gentiles render worship. But Jerusalem
represents the creation or the Creator whom the Jews worship.
. . . You then who are spiritual should worship neither the
creation nor the Craftsman, but the Father of Truth.
This vilification of the creator was held to be inimical to
Christianity by the early fathers of the church. In refuting the
beliefs of the gnostics,
Irenaeus stated that "
Plato is proved to be
more religious than these men, for he allowed that the same
both just and good, having power over all things, and himself
Catharism apparently inherited their idea of
Satan as the creator of
the evil world from Gnosticism. Quispel writes,
There is a direct link between ancient
Gnosticism and Catharism. The
Cathars held that the creator of the world, Satanael, had usurped the
name of God, but that he had subsequently been unmasked and told that
he was not really God.
Neoplatonism and Gnosticism
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Against the Gnostics; or, Against Those that Affirm the Creator of the
Cosmos and the
Cosmos Itself to be Evil
Neoplatonism and Gnosticism
Gnosticism attributed falsehood or evil to the concept of
creator, though in some Gnostic traditions the creator is from a
fallen, ignorant, or lesser—rather than evil—perspective, such as
that of Valentinius.
The Neoplatonic philosopher
Plotinus addressed within his works
Gnosticism's conception of the Demiurge, which he saw as un-Hellenic
and blasphemous to the
Demiurge or creator of Plato.
Plotinus is noted
as the founder of
Neoplatonism (along with his teacher Ammonius
Saccas). In the ninth tractate of the second of his Enneads,
Plotinus criticizes his opponents for their appropriation of ideas
Plato come their punishments, their rivers of the underworld and
the changing from body to body; as for the plurality they assert in
the Intellectual Realm—the Authentic Existent, the
Intellectual-Principle, the Second Creator and the Soul—all this is
taken over from the Timaeus.
— Ennead 2.9.vi; emphasis added from A.H. Armstrong's introduction
to Ennead 2.9
Of note here is the remark concerning the second hypostasis or Creator
and third hypostasis or World Soul.
Plotinus criticizes his opponents
for "all the novelties through which they seek to establish a
philosophy of their own" which, he declares, "have been picked up
outside of the truth"; they attempt to conceal rather than admit
their indebtedness to ancient philosophy, which they have corrupted by
their extraneous and misguided embellishments. Thus their
understanding of the
Demiurge is similarly flawed in comparison to
Plato’s original intentions.
Demiurge is good wishing good on his creation,
Gnosticism contends that the
Demiurge is not only the originator of
evil but is evil as well. Hence the title of Plotinus' refutation:
"Against Those That Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos
Itself to be Evil" (generally quoted as "Against the Gnostics").
Plotinus argues of the disconnect or great barrier that is created
between the nous or mind's noumenon (see Heraclitus) and the material
world (phenomenon) by believing the material world is evil.
The majority of scholars tend to understand Plotinus' opponents as
being a Gnostic sect—certainly (specifically Sethian), several such
groups were present in
Alexandria and elsewhere about the
Mediterranean during Plotinus' lifetime.
Plotinus specifically points
to the Gnostic doctrine of Sophia and her emission of the Demiurge.
Though the former understanding certainly enjoys the greatest
popularity, the identification of Plotinus' opponents as Gnostic is
not without some contention. Christos Evangeliou has contended
that Plotinus’ opponents might be better described as simply
"Christian Gnostics", arguing that several of Plotinus’ criticisms
are as applicable to orthodox Christian doctrine as well. Also,
considering the evidence from the time, Evangeliou thought the
definition of the term "Gnostics" was unclear. Of note here is that
while Plotinus' student Porphyry names
Christianity specifically in
Porphyry's own works, and
Plotinus is to have been a known associate
of the Christian Origen, none of Plotinus' works mention Christ or
Plotinus specifically addresses his target in
Enneads as the Gnostics.
A.H. Armstrong identified the so-called "Gnostics" that
attacking as Jewish and Pagan, in his introduction to the tract in his
translation of the Enneads. Armstrong alluding to
Gnosticism being a
Hellenic philosophical heresy of sorts, which later engaged
Christianity and Neoplatonism.
John D. Turner, professor of religious studies at the University of
Nebraska and famed translator and editor of the Nag Hammadi library,
stated that the text
Plotinus and his students read was Sethian
Gnosticism, which predates Christianity. It appears that Plotinus
attempted to clarify how the philosophers of the academy had not
arrived at the same conclusions (such as dystheism or misotheism for
God as an answer to the problem of evil) as the targets of
Emil Cioran also wrote his "Le mauvais démiurge (The
published in 1969, influenced by
Gnosticism and Schopenhauerian
interpretation of Platonic ontology, as well as that of Plotinus.
Devil in Christianity
Problem of the creator of God
In popular culture
In Madhouse's 2015 anime, Overlord, and 2018 anime, Overlord II,
Demiurge appears as a highly intelligent side character.
Demiurge - New World Encyclopedia". www.newworldencyclopedia.org.
^ Fontenrose, Joseph (1974). Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its
Origin. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. p. 226.
^ Sallis, John (1999). Chorology: On Beginning in Plato's Timaeus.
Indiana University Press. p. 86. ISBN 0-253-21308-8.
^ Keightley, Thomas (1838). The mythology of ancient Greece and Italy.
Oxford University. p. 44.
Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: a brief history By Charles H. Kahn
ISBN 0-87220-575-4 ISBN 978-0872205758
^ a b Karamanolis, George (2006).
Aristotle in Agreement?:
Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry. Oxford University
Press. p. 240. ISBN 0-19-926456-2.
^ The ordering principle is twofold; there is a principle known as the
Demiurge, and there is the Soul of the All; the appellation "Zeus" is
sometimes applied to the
Demiurge and sometimes to the principle
conducting the universe.
^ Wallis, Richard T.; Bregman, Jay, eds. (1992).
Gnosticism. International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. SUNY Press.
^ "Matter is therefore a non-existent"; Plotinus, Ennead 2, Tractate 4
Schopenhauer wrote of this Neoplatonist philosopher: "With Plotinus
there even appears, probably for the first time in Western philosophy,
idealism that had long been current in the East even at that time, for
it taught (Enneads, iii, lib. vii, c.10) that the soul has made the
world by stepping from eternity into time, with the explanation: "For
there is for this universe no other place than the soul or mind"
(neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima), indeed the ideality
of time is expressed in the words: "We should not accept time outside
the soul or mind" (oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus
accipere)." (Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume I, "Fragments for the
History of Philosophy", § 7) Similarly, professor Ludwig Noiré
wrote: "For the first time in
Western philosophy we find idealism
Plotinus (Enneads, iii, 7, 10), where he says, "The only
space or place of the world is the soul", and "Time must not be
assumed to exist outside the soul".  It is worth noting, however,
Plato but unlike
Schopenhauer and other modern philosophers,
Plotinus does not worry about whether or how we can get beyond our
ideas in order to know external objects.
Numenius of Apamea was reported to have asked, "What else is Plato
than Moses speaking Greek?" Fr. 8 Des Places.
^ See Theurgy, Iamblichus and henosis Archived 2010-01-09 at the
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 5, 1.
^ "It is on this account that Moses says, at the creation of man alone
God said, 'Let us make man,' which expression shows an assumption
of other beings to himself as assistants, in order that God, the
governor of all things, might have all the blameless intentions and
actions of man, when he does right attributed to him; and that his
other assistants might bear the imputation of his contrary actions."
Philo, On the Creation, XXIV.
^ Justin, Dial. cum Tryph. c. 67.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 23, 1.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 23, 5.
^ Irenaeus, i. 24, 1.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 25.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 24, 4.
^ Hippolytus, Ref. vii. 33.
^ Theodoret, Haer. Fab. ii. 3.
^ Epiphanius, Panarion, 28.
^ "Apocryphon of John," translation by Frederik Wisse in The Nag
Hammadi Library. Accessed online at gnosis.org
^ a b c d e f g One or more of the preceding sentences
incorporates text from a publication now in the public
domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Demiurge". Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
^ Hipp. Ref. vi. 32, p. 191.
^ Hipp. Ref. vi. 9.
^ Quispel, Gilles (2008). Van Oort, Johannes, ed. Gnostica, Judaica,
Catholica: Collected Essays of Gilles Quispel. Leiden: Koninklijke
Brill NV. p. 64. ISBN 978-90-04-13945-9.
^ Scholem, Gershom (1965). Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and
Talmudic Tradition. Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
^ Robert McLachlan Wilson (1976). Nag Hammadi and gnosis: Papers read
at the First International Congress of Coptology. BRILL.
pp. 21–23. Therefore his esoteric name is Jaldabaoth, whereas
the perfect call him Ariel, because he has the appearance of a
^ Gustav Davidson (1994). A dictionary of angels: including the fallen
angels. Scrollhouse. p. 54.
^ David M Gwynn (2010). Religious Diversity in Late Antiquity. BRILL.
^ Campbell Bonner (1949). "An Amulet of the Ophite Gnostics". The
American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Hesperia Supplements,
Vol. 8: 43–46.
^ Gilles Quispel; R. van den Broek; Maarten Jozef Vermaseren (1981).
Studies in gnosticism and hellenistic religions. BRILL.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 5.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 6.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 30, 8.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, i. 5, 4.
^ Heracleon, Frag. 20.
^ Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, iii. 25.
^ Quispel, Gilles and Van Oort, Johannes (2008), p. 143.
^ John D. Turner. Neoplatonism.
^ "For, in sum, a part of their doctrine comes from Plato; all the
novelties through which they seek to establish a philosophy of their
own have been picked up outside of the truth."
Plotinus "Against the
Gnostics", Ennead II, 9, 6.
^ Plotinus, Arthur Hilary Armstrong (trans.) (1966). Plotinus: Enneads
II (Loeb Classical Library ed.). Harvard University Press. From this
point to the end of ch. 12
Plotinus is attacking a Gnostic myth known
to us best at present in the form it took in the system of Valentinus.
The Mother, Sophia-Achamoth, produced as a result of the complicated
sequence of events which followed the fall of the higher Sophia, and
her offspring the Demiurge, the inferier and ignorant maker of the
material universe, are Valentinian figures; cp. Irenaeus, Adversus
haereses 1.4 and 5.
Valentinius had been in Rome, and there is nothing
improbable in the presence of Valentinians there in the time of
Plotinus. But the evidence in the Life ch. 16 suggests that the
Gnostics in Plotinus's circle belonged rather to the older group
Sethians or Archontics, related to the
Barbelognostics: they probably called themselves simply 'Gnostics.'
Gnostic sects borrowed freely from each other, and it is likely that
Valentinius took some of his ideas about Sophia from older Gnostic
sources, and that his ideas in turn influenced other Gnostics.
^ Evangeliou, "Plotinus's Anti-Gnostic Polemic and Porphyry's Against
the Christians", in Wallis & Bregman, p. 111.
^ From "Introduction to Against the Gnostics", Plotinus'
translated by A.H. Armstrong, pp. 220–22: "The treatise as it stands
Enneads is a most powerful protest on behalf of Hellenic
philosophy against the un-Hellenic heresy (as it was from the
Platonist as well as the orthodox Christian point of view) of
Gnosticism. There were Gnostics among Plotinus's own friends, whom he
had not succeeded in converting (
Enneads ch. 10 of this treatise) and
he and his pupils devoted considerable time and energy to anti-Gnostic
controversy (Life of
Plotinus ch. 16). He obviously considered
Gnosticism an extremely dangerous influence, likely to pervert the
minds even of members of his own circle. It is impossible to attempt
to give an account of
Gnosticism here. By far the best discussion of
what the particular group of Gnostics
Plotinus knew believed is M.
Puech's admirable contribution to Entretiens Hardt V (Les Sources de
Plotin). But it is important for the understanding of this treatise to
be clear about the reasons why
Plotinus disliked them so intensely and
thought their influence so harmful."
^ Armstrong, pp. 220–22: "Short statement of the doctrine of the
three hypostasis, the One, Intellect and Soul; there cannot be more or
fewer than these three. Criticism of the attempts to multiply the
hypostasis, and especially of the idea of two intellects, one which
thinks and that other which thinks that it thinks. (ch. 1). The true
doctrine of Soul (ch. 2). The law of necessary procession and the
eternity of the universe (ch.3). Attack on the Gnostic doctrine of the
making of the universe by a fallen soul, and on their despising of the
universe and the heavenly bodies (chs. 4–5). The senseless jargon of
the Gnostics, their plagiarism from and perversion of Plato, and their
insolent arrogance (ch. 6). The true doctrine about Universal Soul and
the goodness of the universe which it forms and rules (chs. 7–8).
Refutation of objections from the inequalities and injustices of human
life (ch. 9). Ridiculous arrogance of the Gnostics who refuse to
acknowledge the hierarchy of created gods and spirits and say that
they alone are sons of
God and superior to the heavens (ch. 9). The
absurdities of the Gnostic doctrine of the fall of "Wisdom" (Sophia)
and of the generation and activities of the Demiurge, maker of the
visible universe (chs. 10–12). False and melodramatic Gnostic
teaching about the cosmic spheres and their influence (ch. 13). The
blasphemous falsity of the Gnostic claim to control the higher powers
by magic and the absurdity of their claim to cure diseases by casting
out demons (ch. 14). The false other-worldliness of the Gnostics leads
to immorality (ch. 15). The true Platonic other-worldliness, which
love and venerates the material universe in all its goodness and
beauty as the most perfect possible image of the intelligible,
contracted at length with the false, Gnostic, other-worldliness which
hates and despises the material universe and its beauties (chs.
^ Turner, "
Gnosticism and Platonism", in Wallis & Bregman.
^ "List of Overlord (novel series) characters"..
This article incorporates text from the entry Demiurgus in A
Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines by
William Smith and Henry Wace (1877), a publication now in the public
Look up demiurge in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Dark Mirrors of Heaven: Gnostic Cosmogony
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Demiurge". Encyclopædia Britannica
(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Ancient Greek philosophical concepts
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